What WILL they think of next? Conference labels skeptics as having mental disorder

From Spiked-online.com

(h/t to Trevor Gunter)

NOTE FROM ANTHONY: this topic is rather contentious, even though temptation abounds and emotions will run high, please refrain from playing climate gutter ball. Comments will be snipped that stray far from decorum.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Pathologising dissent? Now that’s Orwellian

Ahead of a conference on the psychology of climate change denial, Brendan O’Neill says green authoritarians are treating debate as a disorder.

Brendan O’Neill

A few months ago, for a joke, I set up a Facebook group called ‘Climate change denial is a mental disorder’. It’s a satirical campaigning hub for people who think that climate change denial should be recognised as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association, and that its sufferers – who probably engage in ‘regular chanting and intensive brainwashing sessions in cult-like surroundings’ – should be offered ‘eco-lobotomies’ to remove ‘the denying part of their brain’. The group now has 42 members. Yes, some have signed up because they get the joke, but others are serious subscribers to the denial-as-insanity idea. ‘Thank God I’ve found this group’, says one new member, who is sick of other Facebook groups being ‘hijacked’ by unhinged eco-sceptics.

The idea that ‘climate change denial’ is a psychological disorder – the product of a spiteful, wilful or simply in-built neural inability to face up to the catastrophe of global warming – is becoming more and more popular amongst green-leaning activists and academics. And nothing better sums up the elitism and authoritarianism of the environmentalist lobby than its psychologisation of dissent. The labelling of any criticism of the politics of global warming, first as ‘denial’, and now as evidence of mass psychological instability, is an attempt to write off all critics and sceptics as deranged, and to lay the ground for inevitable authoritarian solutions to the problem of climate change. Historically, only the most illiberal and misanthropic regimes have treated disagreement and debate as signs of mental ill-health.

This weekend, the University of West England is hosting a major conference on climate change denial. Strikingly, it’s being organised by the university’s Centre for Psycho-Social Studies. It will be a gathering of those from the top of society – ‘psychotherapists, social researchers, climate change activists, eco-psychologists’ – who will analyse those at the bottom of society, as if we were so many flitting, irrational amoeba under an eco-microscope. The organisers say the conference will explore how ‘denial’ is a product of both ‘addiction and consumption’ and is the ‘consequence of living in a perverse culture which encourages collusion, complacency and irresponsibility’ (1). It is a testament to the dumbed-down, debate-phobic nature of the modern academy that a conference is being held not to explore ideas – to interrogate, analyse and fight over them – but to tag them as perverse.

Leading green writers have welcomed the West England get-together to study the denying masses. One eco-columnist says the conference might generate ideas for dealing with those who are ‘pathologically’ opposed to the environmental movement (pathology, according to my OED, is the study of ‘morbid or abnormal mental or moral conditions’) (2). Environmentalists recognise the inherent elitism of saying that, while they brave few can see things clearly, the rest of us are somehow disordered (greens are the ‘watchful ones amongst the slaves’, according to one environmentalist writer); yet they seem unashamed. The eco-columnist says this weekend’s conference will be useful because where ‘mainstream politics now largely “gets” environmentalism’, there is still a sceptical mass, ‘a baying and growing crowd, largely consisting of people resistant to the prospect of ever having to alter their lifestyles’. Apparently this crowd ‘gathers to hurl invective’ at environmentalist ideas, such as recycling and low-energy lightbulbs (3).

In a sense, this vision of elite, brainy environmentalists on one side and a baying, insult-hurling crowd on the other speaks, however accidentally and however crudely, to an underlying truth: environmentalism remains a largely elitist project, beloved of politicians, priests and prudes keen to control people’s behaviour and curb our excessive lifestyles, and it rubs many ‘ordinary people’ up the wrong way. Of course much of the public goes along with the environmentalist ethos, bowing to the central idea that mankind is destructive and observing such rituals as sorting their rubbish, but they do so half-heartedly, recognising that, fundamentally, greens’ anti-consumerist, anti-reproduction, anti-travel arguments run counter to their own personal aspirations. Yet rather than recognise this frequently hidden divide between the green elite and the ‘baying crowd’ as one built on differences of opinion, on clashing aspirations, even on rational assessments by sections of the public that recycling is a waste of time, increasingly environmentalists pathologise it, turning it into evidence of their wisdom in contrast to the public’s mental instability.

University departments, serious authors, think-tanks and radical activists are embracing the ‘psychological disorder’ view of climate change scepticism. At Columbia University in New York, the Global Roundtable on Public Attitudes to Climate Change studies the ‘completely baffling’ response of the public to the threat of climate change, exploring why the public has been ‘so slow to act’ despite the ‘extraordinary information’ provided by scientists. Apparently, our slack response is partly a result of our brain’s inability to assess ‘pallid statistical information’ in the face of fear (4). The Ecologist magazine also talks about the ‘psychology of climate change denial’ and says the majority of people (excluding those ‘handfuls of people who have already decided to stop being passive bystanders’: the green elite again) have responded to warnings of global warming by sinking into ‘self-deception and mass denial’ (5). An online magazine called Climate Change Denial is dedicated to analysing the public’s ‘weird and disturbed’ response to climate change (6).

John Naish, the celebrated author of the anti-consumerism treatise Enough!, says our consumerist behaviour, with its promise of ‘ecological disaster’, ultimately springs from the fact that we’re all using the ‘wrong brain’. Our culture, all those flashy ads and temptations to buy, buy, buy and be fat and happy, is aimed at stimulating our ‘primordial instinct’, our ‘reptilian brain, which is responsible for arousal, basic life functions and sex’, says Naish. It neglects and makes lazy our ‘neocortex, the intelligent brain we evolved in the Pleicestocene era’. In short, we’re behaving like animals rather than intelligent beings; indeed, says Naish, our consumer culture is sending us ‘knuckle-dragging into ecological disaster’ (7). In a less hysterical and monkey-obsessed fashion, Al Gore, the king of climate change activism, says the media are warping people’s minds and actively encouraging thoughtlessness and climate change denial, giving rise to a public response to ecological disaster that is not ‘modulated by logic, reason or reflective thought’ (8).

The labelling of those who question certain scientific ideas or green ways of life as ‘deniers’, ‘addicts’ and ‘reptiles’ with a ‘baffling’ inability to understand The Science and act accordingly has a deeply censorious bent. If ‘climate change denial’ is a form of mass denial and self-deception, a fundamentally psychological disorder, then there is no need to engage in a meaningful public debate; instead people just need to be treated. Thus the Ecologist says ‘denial cannot simply be countered with information’; indeed there is apparently ‘plentiful historical evidence that increased information may even intensify denial’ (9). The respected British think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, goes so far as to insist that ‘the task of climate change agencies is not to persuade by rational argument but in effect to develop and nurture a new “common sense”’ (10). This is the logical conclusion to treating disagreement as ‘denial’ and dissent as a ‘disorder’: no debate, no real information, just an insidious demand to change The Culture in order to relax the wrong side of our brains or to inject us with a new commonsensical outlook.

The psychologisation of climate change denial – even the very use of that term: denial – reveals how utterly aloof and cut off are the environmental elitists from mass society. They cannot comprehend, indeed are ‘baffled’ by, our everyday behaviour, our desire to have families, our resistance to hectoring, our dream of being wealthier, better travelled, our hopes of living life to the full. For them, such behaviour is irresponsible and it runs counter to the ‘extraordinary information’ provided by scientists. They seriously expect people to make life decisions on the basis of pie charts and graphs drawn up in laboratories in Switzerland, rather than on the basis of what they and their families need and, yes, what they want. That the green lobby is so perturbed by our failure to act in accordance with scientific findings shows the extent to which, for them, The Science is a new gospel truth and religious-style guide to life, and anyone who disobeys it is a sinner, heretic or deranged individual, a moral leper of the twenty-first century.

Psychologising dissent, and refusing to recognise, much less engage with, the substance of people’s disagreements – their political objections, their rational criticisms, their desire to do things differently – is the hallmark of authoritarian regimes. In the Soviet Union, outspoken critics of the ruling party were frequently tagged as mentally disordered and faced, as one Soviet dissident described it, ‘political exile to mental institutions’ (11). There they would be treated with narcotics, tranquillisers and even electric shock therapy. In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, O’Brien, the torturer in Room 101, offers to cure our hero Winston Smith of his anti-party thinking. ‘You are mentally deranged!’ he tells him. Today the word ‘Orwellian’ is massively overused, to describe everything from fingerprint library cards to supermarket loyalty cards, but treating your dissenters as deranged? That really is Orwellian, and we should declare permanent war against it.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked. Visit his website here. His satire on the green movement – Can I Recycle My Granny and 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas – is published by Hodder & Stoughton in October. (Buy this book from Amazon(UK).)

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Gus

It is such a relief to finally discover what is really wrong with me. I feel so … liberated.

Well, since the idea of spending real money on a symbolic gesture towards a non-existent problem makes me crazy, they are probably right.

Robert Bateman

The only mental disorder is the AGW scared half to death masses that don’t yet realize the place is cooling off. But that insanity is temporary. They are now starting to figure out why. The same nutty prophecy of doom & gloom ice age cometh now telling them they will doom & gloom fry and drown.
When the drug of fear wears off, they’ll be royally ticked.
It always does wear off.
It actually gets old and wears itself out.
No so lucky to be twice wrong.
That’s Under the Bus with you material.

Fred Gams

I have to pinch myself these days to make sure I’m not having a nightmare. Really, WTF is going on with these people?

Mike Bryant

Anyone who wants to argue or discuss the science of Climate Change, is obviously deranged. The science is settled.
Why would anyone listen to these flat-earthers? Why should a crazy person be allowed to spew their inanities on the radio, television, magazines, newspapers, websites or internet blogs?
Even if these people make up the majority of the population, it is only evidence of the insidiousness of their mental condition. We must help these lost souls. We must do it for the children.
To debate would just be silly.
http://www.crm114.com/algore/quiz.html

Jim Steele

I am inclined believe their is some psychologic aspects to this debate that need exmining. However in an ironic twist of fate, I have envisoned the AGW crowd as having an innate need to believe humans are at the center of the universe and thus provide the illusion of control over our destiny. They have been struggling to regain this central status since science and the likes of Galileo and Copernicus stripped them of their illusions. Now in the guise of the scientists’ sheep’s clothing they try to place humans back in the center of the universe, where all climate change is the result of our bad behavior. And if we humans behave the universe and the climate will once again become static and pure and good.

DQuist

This denialist and my leper colony of hibernating plants, are bracing for yet another Seattle snow. How timely to be told that a lobotomy will make all this cold go away.. Can anyone say PDO? Oh, bad word! I will now go and give myself chock treatment. Bad denialist… bad plants…. AGW true, cold not happening….

bikermailman

1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, Atlas Shrugged…how prescient these authors were…

Leon Brozyna

That’s the ticket — send enough skeptics to re-education camps and the rest of the skeptical public will learn to be careful about what they say and whom they speak in front of…
Anthony — speaking of confences, I trust we’ll be getting an earful from you about the conference you’ll be attending starting Sunday? Saw the program that’s been laid out – sounds like a busy three days.
REPLY: I haven’t decided yet if I’ll blog about it. I have quite a bit to do – Anthony

mr.artday

Methinks they do project a bit too much. The Bolsheviks put dissenters in the mental hospitals and tortured them with chemical injections.

AKD

Anybody know why Mr. O’Neill’s blog ceased being updated after Oct. 7, 2008?

pft

If you truly understand todays world and the agenda of those behind the green terrorism movement, you will know these people are deadly serious and those who will be labelled as denialists will be treated as heretics were in Galileos time. This has nothing to do with science. Science is simply used to hide it’s agenda and give it credibility.
Some quotes give a hint about the thinking behind this movement.
“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
– Club of Rome,
“We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts…Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
– Dr. Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology,
lead author of many IPCC reports
“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
– Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
– emeritus professor Daniel Botkin
“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis…”
– David Rockefeller, Club of Rome executive member
“The emerging ‘environmentalization’ of our civilization and the need for vigorous action in the interest of the entire global community will inevitably have multiple political consequences. Perhaps the most important of them will be a gradual change in the status of the United Nations. Inevitably, it must assume some aspects of a world government.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, State of the World Forum
“I envisage the prinicles of the Earth Charter to be a new form of the ten commandments. They lay the foundation for a sustainable global earth community.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, co-author of The Earth Charter
“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?”
– Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme
“The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”
– Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund
“Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
– Professor Maurice King
“Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
– Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute
“The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
– Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation
“Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University
“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
-Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!
“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
– Prof Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb
“I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history, but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in the number of game animals and the need to adjust the cull to the size of the surplus population.”
– Prince Philip, preface of Down to Earth
“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
– Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major UN donor
“… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
– Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind
“If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
– Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the World Wildlife Fund
“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
– John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
“The fate of mankind, as well as of religion, depends upon the emergence of a new faith in the future. Armed with such a faith, we might find it possible to resanctify the earth.”
– Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
“The greatest hope for the Earth lies in religionists and scientists uniting to awaken the world to its near fatal predicament and then leading mankind out of the bewildering maze of international crises into the future Utopia of humanist hope.”
– Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind
“It is the responsibility of each human being today to choose between the force of darkness and the force of light. We must therefore transform our attitudes, and adopt a renewed respect for the superior laws of Divine Nature.”
– Maurice Strong, first Secretary General of UNEP

Yet Another Pundit

The following is not satire, unfortunately.
There is one group of people which truly believes in The Free Hand idea. Man’s interference with the markets is evil, or something like that.
There is another group of people which hates this idea, but they truly believe something similar. Their Free Hand refers to Nature without Man’s interference.
Of course these two extremes hate each other. Most of us are caught in the middle of this battle. Most of us are gardeners who like nature but are quite happy to shape it to our own desires. Even the AGW group may end up trying to change Nature to suit the needs of mankind. Ah, the irony.

Sandy

Again we find sincere conviction as a substitute for rational thought. I first came across it when arguing with my sister as a kid. i couldn’t understand why my arguments had to be rational and defensible and her’s didn’t, thus if she declared me ‘wrong’ sincerely enough I never got a word in edgeways.
These AGW cultists seem more and more like a bossy kid sister.

Policyguy

Obviously we have transcended science to a state of nirvana-like blissful enlightenment much as ice sublimates to vapor with no trace of water.
Mr Gore again yesterday rejected an appeal to debate his position by saying:
“The scientific community has gone through this chapter and verse. We have long since passed the time when we should pretend this is a ‘on the one hand, on the other hand’ issue,” he said. “It’s not a matter of theory or conjecture, for goodness sake,” he added. (http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/03/05/a-heated-exchange-al-gore-confronts-his-critics/)
It is so intuitively obvious that we are obviously in need of psychological solace if we somehow missed it. It’s so unfortunate.

dearieme

I used to teach in a University – it was my job to be sceptical.

Tovarish. Tung Shih. Comrads. Get used to the idea that science does NOT drive the agenda. HItler’s anthropologists willingly, even eagerly, supported the idea of the Aryan master-race. The Soviet Union really did consign dissidents to mental hospitals. Couldn’t happen here? Solomon Asch and Stanley Milgram demonstrated that it really, really could.
Our current administration is steam-rollering social change no matter what “science” says. Just depends in how you define “science”.

Never has so irrational an idea fed so many so well…
I lost a friend of fifty years when he discovered I did not believe. His accusation that I was a monster caring not for the future of my children and grandchildren stunned me. I love those kids, and he knows it; but he was suddenly blinded to what he had previously accepted and admired by my very few words of CO2 doubt.
Is this conference figuring out how to treat the wrong people?

Mike Bryant

… the Institute for Public Policy Research, goes so far as to insist that ‘the task of climate change agencies is not to persuade by rational argument but in effect to develop and nurture a new “common sense”’.
Much thought and planning has gone into the particular strategy above. These people know what they are doing. The large advertising budgets are being put to effective use. The “We Can Solve It” ads were particularly well done. They were very calm and seemingly rational. They used both political parties, different races, construction workers and others to calmly state the new “Common Sense”. They used the “appeal to authority” and the “bandwagon” approaches.
It makes me wonder if, as we speak, the people at some of the more notoriously inhospitable AGW websites are being coached by some high-powered PR firms in the subtleties of manipulation.
If you are welcomed and treated nicely at one of these sites… look out.
Imagine pointing out the obvious shortcomings of the “hockeystick graph” at an AGW website and being answered like this.
Well, Mike we understand how you feel because we felt the same way until we found out that, yes there are shortcomings in the graph, but they are being reworked right now! In fact it appears that some of the conclusions may even be completely wrong as you stated. Thank you so much for visiting us here and don’t be a stranger!!! 🙂 Don’t forget to recycle!

David Hoyle

Now I understand … All my failures in life!!!(sob)

Pamela Gray

I’ll have to admit that I got me knickers in a twist in an earlier thread. I clearly don’t like people making assumptions about me.
Note to self: When reading AGW proponent blog posts, eat chocolate and drink red wine. Then go find my man in…oh…say, about two hours later.

CodeTech

I don’t want to go to a re-education camp. I never really liked camp too much. I was allergic to horses, and hated singing songs around the campfire. My favorite parts of camp were target shooting, swimming in the lake, and the girl I met there. Will there be cute girls at our re-education camps? If so, I might not struggle so much.
But wait, if there are cute girls there, they’ll also be afflicted with the same mental disorder as I, and quite honestly I’m getting sick of meeting women with mental disorders. The last one needed her lithium adjusted, if you know what I mean.
So, maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have kids, since the last time this sort of thing happened it was the kids that mostly reported their parents.
So, wait again… maybe I should be looking for cute women with mental disorders, that way I’ll find someone who’s just fine! Or at least, someone who thinks like I do.
Anthony, I apologize for my “toxin” commenting yesterday (although, um, someone had to say it and I was trying to be fairly polite about it)… you have now helped me see that all of my problems are directly related to my newly-identified mental disorder!
I go, forward, confident in my direction!

John F. Hultquist

About two weeks ago I wrote to editors at The Wall Street Journal and Scientific American magazine asking them to report on the up-coming conference*; also to one of the Seattle newspapers because they had just reported on WA’s climate report. So I guess my name is on somebody’s list.
http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org
I’m now going out to lock the gate and turn on the security cameras and electrify the fences. If I turn up missing, send help!

Mike McMillan

@ pft (21:43:01) :
Excellent collection of quotes.
“If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
– Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the World Wildlife Fund

Starting at the top, s’il vous plait.

Garacka

I suspect that 50% of the participants truly believe the skeptics have psychological problems and 25% don’t. The other 25% don’t believe they do but are pushing this conference as they are employed in the climate scare business and need to keep the gravy flowing.

Jim G

Oh, to long for the days when we huddled in caves.
Leaving to kill our food and hope that this new plant we found doesn’t kill our kid. (You know that we won’t try it first.)
Those fond memories of the days when typhus and plague, flu and exposure destroyed our neighbors.
What must we think today as we live longer and stay warm and well fed.
What fools we must be!
After all, you haven’t really lived until your dinner chases you down the hill.

Just want truth...

“Al Gore… says the media are warping people’s minds and actively encouraging thoughtlessness and climate change denial,”
The Weather Channel, National Geographic Channel, and (for shame!) The Science Channel all run a regular schedule of global warming shows. There’s even a green channel, ‘planet green’, that has 24 hour a day green programs, including some global warming alarmism. But there are no channels that have regular programming encouraging global warming skepticism.
What is Al Gore talking about? Did this conference focus on the correct group of people?
I’d say “scratches head” but I’ve done enough of that the past 2 years. I don’t want to wear out a bald spot.

Garacka

What are the chances that some attendees start looking in the mirror?

MAG

pft (21:43:01) : those who will be labelled as denialists will be treated as heretics were in Galileo’s time.
Well said pft. And great quotes.
This is all excellent news – the more hysterical and abusive the warming cultists become, the sooner normal people will realize that their pseudo-scientific ravings are complete nonsense.

Logan

http://www.amazon.com/Liberal-Mind-Psychological-Political-Madness/dp/097795630X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236408056&sr=8-1
Looks like Dr. Rossiter will have to write another book on green madness, which goes well beyond ordinary left wing thinking, as the green-agenda.com site shows.

Roger Knights

Here’s an item I posted a couple of weeks ago in a Met Office thread, where it was OT. Here it fits in just fine. Deniers are not just mad but bad: “people literally suppressing truth.”
Here’s a one-page article,”Manufacturing Confusion” by Clive Thompson, a properly polished pebble, found on p. 38 of the February issue of “Wired,” and online at:
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-02/st_thompson
(The author’s e-mail is: clive@clivethompson.net. )
(I wish a thread discussing this will be set up.)
Here’s the article, in full. (Note the rhetorical guilt-by-association practiced in the opening three sentences. Note also the concluding paragraph, which recommends the AGW-censored Wikipedia as authoritative.):
“Is global warming caused by humans? Is Barack Obama a Christian? Is evolution a well-supported theory?
You might think these questions have been incontrovertibly answered in the affirmative, proven by settled facts. But for a lot of Americans, they haven’t. Among Republicans, belief in anthropogenic global warming declined from 52 percent to 42 percent between 2003 and 2008. Just days before the election, nearly a quarter of respondents in one Texas poll were convinced that Obama is a Muslim. And the proportion of Americans who believe God did not guide evolution? It’s 14 percent today, a two-point decline since the ’90s, according to Gallup.
What’s going on? Normally, we expect society to progress, amassing deeper scientific understanding and basic facts every year. Knowledge only increases, right?
Robert Proctor doesn’t think so. A historian of science at Stanford, Proctor points out that when it comes to many contentious subjects, our usual relationship to information is reversed: Ignorance increases.
He has developed a word inspired by this trend: agnotology. Derived from the Greek root agnosis, it is “the study of culturally constructed ignorance.”
As Proctor argues, when society doesn’t know something, it’s often because special interests work hard to create confusion. Anti-Obama groups likely spent millions insisting he’s a Muslim; church groups have shelled out even more pushing creationism. The oil and auto industries carefully seed doubt about the causes of global warming. And when the dust settles, society knows less than it did before.
“People always assume that if someone doesn’t know something, it’s because they haven’t paid attention or haven’t yet figured it out,” Proctor says. “But ignorance also comes from people literally suppressing truth—or drowning it out—or trying to make it so confusing that people stop caring about what’s true and what’s not.”
After years of celebrating the information revolution, we need to focus on the countervailing force: The disinformation revolution. The ur-example of what Proctor calls an agnotological campaign is the funding of bogus studies by cigarette companies trying to link lung cancer to baldness, viruses—anything but their product.
Think of the world of software today: Tech firms regularly sue geeks who reverse-engineer their code to look for flaws. They want their customers to be ignorant of how their apps work.
Even the financial meltdown was driven by ignorance. Credit-default swaps were designed not merely to dilute risk but to dilute knowledge; after they’d changed hands and been serially securitized, no one knew what they were worth.
Maybe the Internet itself has inherently agnotological side effects. People graze all day on information tailored to their existing worldview. And when bloggers or talking heads actually engage in debate, it often consists of pelting one another with mutually contradictory studies they’ve Googled: “Greenland’s ice shield is melting 10 years ahead of schedule!” vs. “The sun is cooling down and Earth is getting colder!”
As Farhad Manjoo notes in True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, if we argue about what a fact means, we’re having a debate. If we argue about what the facts are, it’s agnotological Armageddon, where reality dies screaming.
Can we fight off these attempts to foster ignorance? Despite his fears about the Internet’s combative culture, Proctor is optimistic. During last year’s election, campaign-trail lies were quickly exposed via YouTube and transcripts. The Web makes secrets harder to keep.
We need to fashion information tools that are designed to combat agnotological rot. Like Wikipedia: It encourages users to build real knowledge through consensus, and the result manages to (mostly) satisfy even people who hate each other’s guts. Because the most important thing these days might just be knowing what we know.”

Aron

Josef Stalin treated threats the same way. Any dissenters were called enemies of the people and sent to mental hospitals to be reprogrammed, imprisoned or sent to labour camps.

The Hanebuth Curve
An interesting paper that elaborates on recent (since 10,000 years ago) sea-level change is by Hanebuth and others (Rapid flooding of the Sunda Shelf – a late-glacial sea-level record. Science, 288: 1033-1035, 2000).
The Hanebuth Curve is also shown on my web site (http://www.geoscience-environment.com/es551/back_ground.html#quaternary).
Some readers may be interested in evidence for sea level change in Southeast Asia 5000 years ago. (URL: http://www.geoscience-environment.com/ge703/index_sungai_ara.html).
Literature review for the study documented evidence that around 5000 years ago, global sea level was about 2 meters (6 feet) higher than now, coinciding with dates estimated for the Climatic Optimum, when the Sahara Desert was host to hippos, cattle and other fauna dependent on ample water sources.
The time-scale used by geologists is completely different from the time-scale used by most people concerned about global warming. And the different time-scale leads to a different perspective on climate change unrelated to the burning of fossil fuels.
One thing you won’t find on my web site is a discussion of the timing of the current interglacial period. Five years ago, when I was doing the degree, the evidence was not very strong that the present interglacial may be much longer than those of the last 400,000 years.
Instead of the usual interglacial period of about 20,000 years, the one we live in could last 50,000 years. The increased duration of the present interglacial was first estimated from astronomical calculations carried out by A. Berger. However, recent analysis of ice cores confirmed that the interglacial of 400,000 years ago lasted about 50,000 years. Still to be determined is the length of the interglacial 800,000 years ago.
The reason why these longer interglacial would be interesting today is that sea level rose about 20 meters (65 feet) during the last long interglacial, called OIS 11.
We cannot draw from this any conclusion about what to expect during the next century or even the next millennium. Sea level will fluctuate no matter what mankind does to keep it constant. All we can say from the viewpoint of the astronomical model is that sometime in the next 30,000 years all high rises built on sea coasts will be submerged to about the fifth floor.

pft (21:43:01) : (List of quotes) Thank you, pft… well, I will modify that “thanks”. In some ways I am not sure I really want to read such obscenities. Self-hate really should be kept silent lest we, the general populace, rise up in decision that such persons are a danger to even themselves and should be padded up…
…at least they are always proved wrong in the end; which is some small relief.

Manfred

here we have the alleged mental disorder, there we heard about the “horrible people who might make sinful use of” climate change disproving data.
just combine these two – wouldn’t that be a nice job for the “new” BBC ?

evanjones

To the tune of: They Are Night Zombies
N-A-S-A G-I-S-S
will-be-there-to-cry-the-crisis
N-O-A-A I-P-C-C
No-one-said-it-would-be-easy
Shaking their fingers in the air
Finding the way to make us care
Striving to make us see their worth
Striving to make us save the earth
They know they know what makes us so
We are too weak we are too slow
And they must they therefore anoint
Before before the tipping point
H-0-8-3 Dew Point T-Max
A-S-O-S Feedback Carbon tax
G-I-S-S U Columbia
U-S-H-C-N Tuscumbia
P-D-O A-M-O IPO
A-A-O N-A-O IDO
U-H-I L-I-A got to go
(Hey-Ho! Hey-Ho!)
A-B-B-E-V-I-L-L-E
Who remains to sound the re-vi-le?
C-O-L-U-M-B-I-A
Who remains to C-Y-A?
T-OBS FILNET make it rise
S-H-A-P then Homogenize
U-N G-C-M outliers
Al Gore Hansen jail deniers
C-R-S M-M-T-S
Yield to C-R-N-4 B-S
N-C-D-C CO-OP Surf-A
Who remains to do the survey?

P Folkens

Years ago, I attended my brother’s wedding in the deepest part of the Southern Bible Belt. One lady from the bride’s side made conversation by asking what I did. I told her I worked in the field of evolutionary biology. She said she’d pray for me.
AGW alarmists are kind of like that except they won’t pray for me, but rather relegate me to the hinterlands of social banishment.
AGW alarmists and Creationists do share something in common. It matters not a wit the good, empirical data and scientific analysis one presents. Facts that demolish their illusions mean only that I am a bad person for questioning their “truth.” Deep down, they really hate me for it.
How can we overcome this growing level of stupid around us?

Fernando

They lie about even the smallest things. For example, saying “I brushed my teeth today,” when they didn’t.
They add exaggerations to every sentence.
They change their story all the time.
They act very defensively when you question their statements.
They believe what they say is true, when everyone else knows it isn’t.
Here’s an alternate “checklist”:
Lies when it is very easy to tell the truth.
Lies to get sympathy, to look beter, to save their butt, etc.
Fools people at first but once they get to know him, no one believes anything they ever say.
May have a personality disorder.
Extremely manipulative.
Has been caught in lies repeatedly.
Never fesses up to the lies.
Is a legend in their own mind.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_can_you_tell_if_someone_is_a_pathological_liar

Back in 1950’s-1960’s, we had similar approach to all who disagreed with the wise policies of our all-knowing Communist Party of Czechoslovakia: we put those people in the lunatics’ asylums. It stood to reason then, that no-one, but NO-ONE, in his right mind, could have disagreed with those policies.Simple as that. Now, we are getting similar treatment from the Greeny Left.
Nothing new under the Sun.
Left changed its name, but not it’s spots.

tallbloke

One of the best analyses of interwar Europe (once you could get your head round his terms and definitions) was written by Willhelm Reich in his book ‘The Mass Psychology of Fascism’. Reich went a radical in his older age, and ended up dying in an american prison because the powers that be didn’t like his views on the repression of sexuality and his polemics against power structures.
His books were burned in piles outside the libraries of both America and Russia during the cold war period.
This fact alone is a good recommendation for reading them.
In a delicious irony, I found out that Reich lived in a community run ranch which was originally set up by a disaffected english industrialist who left for the land of the free after his ironworks was compulsarily purchased and knocked down by parliament to make way for a railway. His home in England also ended up as a community centre which invites groups of people including those with conditions such as autism to come and participate in organic gardening and group therapy. I do voluntary work there to maintain and improve the grounds and systems, including my rainwater recovery and irrigation project.
One of the polemic short books Reich wrote was titled ‘Listen Little Man!’
It perfectly sums up what is happening here in terms of the power relations between the ‘technochracy’ and the ‘common herd’.

Scientology all over again? But at a scale about wich Hubbard could not have imagined in his wildest dreams, and that man had a lot of imagination.
you need to free those body-thetans, if you free yourself than you can do things, ooh wait that was Tom Cruise….
Its a pyramid scheme for the AGW followers, they can’t step out because they are the ones who know, they are the ones who are right. You can’t step out it, because you will loose all your friends, family, security (just like those who step out of the Church of Scientology). They do it for us, our childeren, our grand childeren.
And the idiot mumbles, what about those 25.000 to 30.000 childeren (about 1 in every 3 secconds) in the third world that will have died within the next 24 hours because they don’t have access to clean water, basic health care and food and above all that what is most needed, cheap energy!
The worst thing that can happen to the third world is a colder and dry climate and development aid-programmes headed by the UN.
We must do this for our childeren en their childeren.
Not only is the idea that lowering your CO2 is good a very bad idea, it is also dangerous and it will definitely kill millions of people within the years to come, and then they suggest that i am bonking mad?

I feel the need for some therapeutic cleansing.
The need arises because, on Friday, I attended an all-day seminar at UCLA (U. California at Los Angeles) at which the AGW faithful gathered, repeated their many mantras, and applauded long and loud. In fairness, there were a couple of voices of reason among the many panelists. But the AGW faithful heard from Mary Nichols, Chair of the Air Resources Board, and Senator Fran Pavley, (California state senator, co-author of AB 32), who both repeated the seas are rising, the globe is warming, and we are just SO happy that our AB 32 is now in place so we will save the world.
No kidding.
About the seas rising, Ms. Nichols stated that the seas COULD rise 8 inches in the next 40 years, and that would be devastating to the half-million people living near the Sacramento River delta and its inadequate levees. No mention of a range of possibilities or likelihood, confidence intervals, or basis for that claim of 8 inches in 40 years. No mention that the satellite data shows the sea level is falling offshore San Francisco. The 8 inch rise was Just thrown out there, for the faithful to accept. And they did.
Ms. Nichols flatly stated that hurricanes are growing more violent and more frequent. No one challenged her on that.
Ms. Nichols also stated that the summer heat waves are growing more intense, and wildfires are getting out of hand. One person (maybe he reads WUWT!) did ask her if that was not related to planned burns by federal forest officials? Ms. Nichols spoke in circles and did not answer on that one.
We also heard that the people must be “kept in their neighborhoods” and given disincentives to drive anywhere, as that will cut down CO2. (that was from the urban planner). We then heard from the water guy, who told us that we must install a separate water distribution system to reduce the pumping energy required for potable water. I am still trying to untangle that one. Apparently (according to him, anyway) 19 percent of all California energy (I think he meant electric power) is expended on producing, purifying, pumping, and distributing fresh water. So, if we install a second parallel system, we don’t have to pump the water? I don’t get that one.
The Power guy from Los Angeles DWP (Dept of Water and Power) assured us that DWP will cease importing power from the nasty coal-fired plants in Utah, from which DWP imports about 48 percent of its power. This would occur by 2019 and 2027, just as soon as the existing power purchase contracts expire. By then, the utility will produce power from the oh-so-green geothermal sources at the Salton Sea, build the long transmission lines, and power will still flow in Los Angeles. I tried to get my question asked, but the microphone-dispensing-people did not make it over to me. (these plants may emit sulfur (H2S), briny wastewater, and mercury, depending on the geologic formation).
We were also told that the Obama AB 32 copy-cat plan for the U.S. is coming along just fine, and we should see a federal law by late this year. Meanwhile, California’s death-stab at the car companies is coming along nicely, as the U.S. EPA held hearings yesterday to decide when (not if, mind you) California will be granted its more strict tail-pipe emission standards for CO2 on all new-cars sold in-state. Just what the highly-profitable car companies need, a third emissions standard. (One is for Europe, one is for the U.S. without California’s strict standard, and the third is the Pavley standards for California).
DWP had a few moments of comedy, too. We were told that each household in their utility district can drop by the department and pick up two compact fluorescent light bulbs for free. (Well, I thought that was funny…as if that will make any difference!) This next bit was not funny, but serious: low-income Californians can request a new refrigerator from DWP, and they will bring over a new, energy-efficient refrigerator, install it, and take away the old one. No charge. Then more comedy: we can also expect to have free neighborhood make-over parties, during which homes will be weatherized to plug the drafty spots, shade-trees will be planted, and rooftops painted white. This was met by great applause. I can just picture the conversation at the front porch in certain neighborhoods: Hi, we’re from DWP and we are here to weatherize your house, can we come in? Uh, hold on, we were not expecting you, we need to clean up the place first. Ok, we can wait! Furious activity to put away the drugs and the paraphernalia and the guns and ammo. (This is Los Angeles, remember?)
We were also told that California is having a water shortage, a drought actually, now in its third year. Completely disregarding the drought line from earlier, we were told that bio-fuels require an awful lot of water to grow and manufacture. Bio-fuels are mandated under AB 32. My question (again, unasked) was, hey fellas! Remember that drought discussion? From where can we obtain all that water for growing and processing bio-fuels?
No one stood to say the seas are not rising.
No one stood to ask about the recent cold snaps, and snowfall.
No one stood to ask about the near-normal arctic ice extent, and the increased Antarctic ice.
No one stood to ask about the cooling oceans.
No one stood to ask about the cooling atmosphere since 2002.
No one stood to state there is zero relation between CO2 and climate warming.
I need some therapy.

This is an excerpt from the prospectus for the conference -which I had originally thought to be a spoof until I read the REAL spoof that is the lead article on this thread ;
“Man-made climate change poses an unprecedented threat to the global ecosystem and yet the response, from national policy makers right through to individual consumers, remains tragically inadequate. The Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of the West of England is organising a major interdisciplinary event Facing Climate Change on this topic at UWE on 7 March 2009. Facing Climate Change is the first national conference to specifically explore ‘climate change denial’.
This is the prospectus;
http://info.uwe.ac.uk/news/UWENews/article.asp?item=1438
This is a profile of the organiser
http://www.uwe.ac.uk/hlss/politics/staff_pHoggett.shtml
An excerpt from the profile linked above;
“He has longstanding interest in the role of emotion and unconscious forces in political behaviour and his current ESRC project focuses on the `emotion work’ required of regeneration workers as they negotiate the ethical dilemmas of their jobs. Major research contracts in the past have included the Home Office, Joseph Rowntree and the European Foundation.”
UK readers already know about the wilful waste of our taxes on the public sector and the EU by our profligate government and will only shake their heaed at more state funded idiocy. However, it is an indicator of the shape of things to come for American readers who don’t yet realise they elected a socialist as their president.
Tonyb

Roger Knights

Fred Colbourne (23:25:13) :
You should re-post that material on sea-level rise in the thread just before this one, “Basic Geology Part 3.”

Norm in the Hawkesbury

Welcome to the Tavistock Institute
Rigour, reflection and thoughtfulness are at the heart of what we do.
We work to improve the effectiveness of groups and organisations and, therefore, people’s lives. We bring insight and care to consultancy, applied research and evaluation – insight based on the social sciences. We help our clients work with the unexpected, and to learn and develop new and imaginative ways forward.

Our History
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations was formally founded as a registered charity in September 1947. In our early work we brought together staff from different disciplines to find ways to apply psychoanalytic and open systems concepts to group and organisational life.
THE MODERN TIMES WORKPLACE
The history, context and early development of Socio-Technical Systems theory and practice is largely expressed in the work of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.
Google – Dr. John Coleman The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations
This has been going on for a loooong time!

tmtisfree

pft (21:43:01) :
Some more:
“The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security.”
– Maurice Strong at the 1992 Earth Summit.
“Because I wanted influence in the United States.”
– Maurice Strong quoted in Saturday Night magazine.
“If we don’t change, our species will not survive… Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.”
– Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.
“[The Earth Summit will play an important role in] reforming and strengthening the United Nations as the centerpiece of the emerging system of democratic global governance.”
– Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.
“[I am] a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.”
– Maurice Strong as quoted in Macleans.
“[The Great Depression left me] frankly very radical.”
– Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.
“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
– Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC and the person responsible for establishing the future emphasis of the IPCC reporting
“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
– Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace, and the person often described by some IPCC leaders as the inspiration for their environmental efforts with respect to Climate Change
“The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift Global Consciousness to a higher level.”
– Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech
“A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
– Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies
“We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of acres of presently settled land.”
– David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!
“Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet’s climate system into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced – a catastrophe of our own making.”
– Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth
“We are getting close to catastrophic tipping points, despite the fact that most people barely notice the warming yet.”
– Dr James Hansen, NASA researcher
“Climate Change will result in a catastrophic global sea level rise of seven meters. That’s bye-bye most of Bangladesh, Netherlands, Florida and would make London the new Atlantis.”
– Greenpeace International
“This planet is on course for a catastrophe. The existence of Life itself is at stake.”
– Dr Tim Flannery, Principal Research Scientist
“Climate Change is the greatest threat that human civilization has ever faced.”
– Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
“Climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.”
– Barak Obama, US Presidential Candidate
“We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California
“Climate change should be seen as the greatest challenge to ever face mankind.”
– Prince Charles
“Climate change makes us all global citizens, we are truly all in this together.”
– Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister
“We have reached the critical moment of decision on climate change. Failure to act to now would be deeply and unforgivably irresponsible. We urgently require a global environmental revolution.”
– Tony Blair, former British PM
“We are close to a time when all of humankind will envision a global agenda that encompasses a kind of Global Marshall Plan to address the causes of poverty and suffering and environmental destruction all over the earth.”
– Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
“By the end of this century climate change will reduce the human population to a few breeding pairs surviving near the Arctic.”
– Sir James Lovelock, Revenge of Gaia
“In Nature organic growth proceeds according to a Master Plan, a Blueprint. Such a ‘master plan’ is missing from the process of growth and development of the world system. Now is the time to draw up a master plan for sustainable growth and world development based on global allocation of all resources and a new global economic system. Ten or twenty years form today it will probably be too late.”
– Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point
“We need a new paradigm of development in which the environment will be a priority. World civilization as we know it will soon end. We have very little time and we must act. If we can address the environmental problem, it will have to be done within a new system, a new paradigm. We have to change our mindset, the way humankind views the world.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, State of the World Forum
“The concept of national sovereignty has been immutable, indeed a sacred principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation.”
– UN Commission on Global Governance report
“Democracy is not a panacea. It cannot organize everything and it is unaware of its own limits. These facts must be faced squarely. Sacrilegious though this may sound, democracy is no longer well suited for the tasks ahead. The complexity and the technical nature of many of today’s problems do not always allow elected representatives to make competent decisions at the right time.”
– Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution
“The emerging ‘environmentalization’ of our civilization and the need for vigorous action in the interest of the entire global community will inevitably have multiple political consequences. Perhaps the most important of them will be a gradual change in the status of the United Nations. Inevitably, it must assume some aspects of a world government.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, State of the World Forum
“I envisage the prinicles of the Earth Charter to be a new form of the ten commandments. They lay the foundation for a sustainable global earth community.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, co-author of The Earth Charter
“In my view, after fifty years of service in the United Nations system, I perceive the utmost urgency and absolute necessity for proper Earth government. There is no shadow of a doubt that the present political and economic systems are no longer appropriate and will lead to the end of life evolution on this planet. We must therefore absolutely and urgently look for new ways.”
– Dr Robert Muller, UN Assistant Secretary General,
“Nations are in effect ceding portions of their sovereignty to the international community and beginning to create a new system of international environmental governance as a means of solving otherwise unmanageable crises.”
– Lester Brown, WorldWatch Institute
“Regionalism must precede globalism. We foresee a seamless system of governance from local communities, individual states, regional unions and up through to the United Nations itself.”
– UN Commission on Global Governance
“A keen and anxious awareness is evolving to suggest that fundamental changes will have to take place in the world order and its power structures, in the distribution of wealth and income. Perhaps only a new and enlightened humanism can permit mankind to negotiate this transition.”
– Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point
“The alternative to the existing world order can only emerge as a result of a new human dimension of progress. We envision a revolution of the mind, a new way of thinking.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, State of the World Forum
“Adopting a central organizing principle… means embarking on an all-out effort to use every policy and program, every law and institution… to halt the destruction of the environment.”
– Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
“Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.”
– UN Agenda 21
“The current course of development is thus clearly unsustainable. Current problems cannot be solved by piecemeal measures. More of the same is not enough. Radical change from the current trajectory is not an option, but an absolute necessity. Fundamental economic, social and cultural changes that address the root causes of poverty and environmental degradation are required and they are required now.”
– from the Earth Charter website
“A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
– Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies
“The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”
– Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund
“Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
– Professor Maurice King
“We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of acres of presently settled land.”
– David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!
“Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
– Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute
“The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
– Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation
“Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University
“Our insatiable drive to rummage deep beneath the surface of the earth is a willful expansion of our dysfunctional civilization into Nature.”
– Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
“The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
– Sir James Lovelock, BBC Interview
“Mankind is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish and unethical animal on the earth.”
– Michael Fox, vice-president of The Humane Society
“Humans on the Earth behave in some ways like a pathogenic micro-organism, or like the cells of a tumor.”
– Sir James Lovelock, Healing Gaia
“I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history, but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in the number of game animals and the need to adjust the cull to the size of the surplus population.”
– Prince Philip, preface of Down to Earth
“A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.”
– United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment
“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
– Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major UN donor
“… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
– Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind
“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
– John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
“The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.”
– Christopher Manes, Earth First!
“Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
– David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club
“The fate of mankind, as well as of religion, depends upon the emergence of a new faith in the future. Armed with such a faith, we might find it possible to resanctify the earth.”
– Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
“The greatest hope for the Earth lies in religionists and scientists uniting to awaken the world to its near fatal predicament and then leading mankind out of the bewildering maze of international crises into the future Utopia of humanist hope.”
– Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind
“What an incredible planet in the universe this will be when we will be one human family living in justice, peace, love and harmony with our divine Earth, with each other and with the heavens.”
– Robert Muller, UN Assistant Secretary General
“The earth is literally our mother, not only because we depend on her for nurture and shelter but even more because the human species has been shaped by her in the womb of evolution…. Our salvation depends upon our ability to create a religion of nature.”
– Rene Dubos, board member, Planetary Citizens
“Each element, plant, insect, fish and animal represents a certain aspect of Gaia’s – and our – being. In a way, we are Gaia’s intelligence and awareness – currently lost in self-destructive madness. We must acknowledge, respect and love her for being the Mother she is to us or we deny our very selves. Nurture the Mother as she nurtures us.”
– Prof. Michael J. Cohen, Ecopsychologist
“It is the responsibility of each human being today to choose between the force of darkness and the force of light. We must therefore transform our attitudes, and adopt a renewed respect for the superior laws of Divine Nature.”
– Maurice Strong, first Secretary General of UNEP
“The spirit of our planet is stirring! The Consciousness of Goddess Earth is now rising against all odds, in spite of millennia of suppression, repression and oppression inflicted on Her by a hubristic and misguided humanity. The Earth is a living entity, a biological organism with psychic and spiritual dimensions. With the expansion of the patriarchal religions that focused on a male God majestically stationed in Heaven ruling over the Earth and the Universe, the memory of our planet’s innate Divinity was repressed and banished into the collective unconscious of humanity.”
– Envision Earth
“Still more important is the implication that the evolution of homo sapiens, with his technological inventiveness and his increasingly subtle communications network, has vastly increased Gaia’s range of perception. She is now through us awake and aware of herself. She has seen the reflection of her fair face through the eyes of astronauts and the television cameras of orbiting spacecraft. Our sensations of wonder and pleasure, our capacity for conscious thought and speculation, our restless curiosity and drive are hers to share. This new interrelationship of Gaia with man is by no means fully established; we are not yet a truly collective species, corralled and tamed as an integral part of the biosphere, as we are as individual creatures. It may be that the destiny of mankind is to become tamed, so that the fierce, destructive, and greedy forces of tribalism and nationalism are fused into a compulsive urge to belong to the commonwealth of all creatures which constitutes Gaia.”
– Sir James Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look At Life
“Little by little a planetary prayer book is thus being composed by an increasingly united humanity seeking its oneness. Once again, but this time on a universal scale, humankind is seeking no less than its reunion with ‘divine,’ its transcendence into higher forms of life. Hindus call our earth Brahma, or God, for they rightly see no difference between our earth and the divine. This ancient simple truth is slowly dawning again upon humanity, as we are about to enter our cosmic age and become what we were always meant to be: the planet of god.”
– Robert Muller, UN Assistant Secretary General
“What if Mary is another name for Gaia? Then her capacity for virgin birth is no miracle . . . it is a role of Gaia since life began . . . She is of this Universe and, conceivably, a part of God. On Earth, she is the source of life everlasting and is alive now; she gave birth to humankind and we are part of her.”
– Sir James Lovelock, Ages of Gaia
“Nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Green Cross International
“The spiritual sense of our place in nature…can be traced to the origins of human civilization…. The last vestige of organized goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity.”
– Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
“Christianity is our foe. If animal rights is to succeed, we must destroy the Judeo-Christian Religious tradition.”
– Peter Singer, founder of Animal Rights
“I pledge allegiance to the Earth and all its sacred parts. Its water, land and living things and all its human hearts.”
– Global Education Associates, The Earth Pledge
“By fostering a deep sense of connection to others and to the earth in all its dimensions, holistic education encourages a sense of responsibility to self to others and to the planet.”
– Global Alliance for Transforming Education
“The earth is not dead matter. She is alive.
Now begin to speak to the earth as you walk.
You can speak out loud, or just talk to her in your mind.
Send your love into her with your exhalation. Feel your
heart touching upon the heart of the planet. Say to her
whatever words come to you: Mother Earth, I love you.
Mother Earth, I bless you. May you be healed. May all
your creatures be happy. Peace to you, Mother Earth.
On behalf of the human race, I ask forgiveness
for having injured you. Forgive us, Mother Earth”
– US Student Textbook, “Prayer to the Earth”
“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
– Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation, the organization responsible for establishing the IPCC to handle Global Warming issues delegated to it by certain leadership figures in the WMO
“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
– Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment, and responsible for Canada’s contributions to the IPCC
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
– emeritus professor Daniel Botkin
“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?”
– Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme
“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.”
– Maurice Strong, Rio Earth Summit
The best ‘too much of you’ quote:
“One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population,we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
– Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier
The best hypocritical quote:
“We require a central organizing principle – one agreed to voluntarily. Minor shifts in policy, moderate improvement in laws and regulations, rhetoric offered in lieu of genuine change – these are all forms of appeasement, designed to satisfy the public’s desire to believe that sacrifice, struggle and a wrenching transformation of society will not be necessary.”
– Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
Apologies for any quote in double. Please spread.
Bye,
TMTisFree

Insane !! But I think here, in France, it is worth ! A skeptic is a negationist (like for WW2 and the Holocaust). There is absolutely no debate, only insults : they hold us in contempt…

Copernicus
Galileo
Today, a new realm of skeptics who go against the ‘consensus’.
I am proud to be one of them.

Stephen Brown

Two rather appropriate quotes lifted directly from the home-page of http://www.grumpyoldsod.com/index.asp
We might mock now, but this demonising of the ‘Deniers’ is a most frightening development.
When government doesn’t agree with the people,
it’s time to change the people – Bertolt Brecht
The best way to take control over a people and control them
utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode
rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible
reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights
and freedoms being removed until past the point at which
these changes cannot be reversed – Adolf Hitler

A Primer In Social Engineering (SE)
Axiom: “Deniers” stepped in in SE trap.
Quotes from here:
– Mike Bryant (22:08:53) : Much thought and planning has gone into the particular strategy above. These people know what they are doing.
– Roger Knights (23:07:04) : Deniers are not just mad but bad: “people literally suppressing truth.”
1) To change reality, one has to change expressions (via Orwell)
a) there is “pro choice” but it should be “pro murder” or “against life”
b) there is “denier” but it should be “opponent”
c) there is “hate crime” but it should be “contradictory opinion”
d) etc
2) the best weapon fighting opponents is naming them with negtive expression
a) “mental disorder” versus “common sense”
b) “denier” versus “opponent/proponent” (depending on the side)
But the worst thing which I think is happening in different kinds of societies is that the “truth” side has started to use the twisted language of the “evil side” many years ago. And the strategy was proved beyond doubt. Specialy in political matters.
Why Mr Brendan O’Neill didn’t set up a Facebook group called ‘Climate warming (or AGW warming) is a mental disorder’? Why didn’t he accepted “our” views as a base?
And the whole lot of other similar actions are the ultimate proof that “we” jump into the trap I have written at the beginning of my comment.
And If we continue using “their” language, our (pardon “yours”) efforts will bring only minimal effect on society as a whole.
Regards